Track: Nürburgring Nordschleife
Car: '54 Mercedes Benz 300SL
Tires: Sports Medium
My time: 1:35.279
Welcome to the AMG Driving Academy. For today's lesson we are going to learn how to tackle Nürburgring's
northern track. For those who want to learn this long, complex track, what better way to learn "the 'Ring" than to take it
step by step? That's what we're going to be doing.
In GT4 (where Nürburgring Nordschleife first appeared in the Gran Turismo series), there was no full lesson-by-lesson given...only
a series of license tests. One of the I-A license tests in this game had us driving a different Mercedes Benz around the entire
track, and who can't forget Mission 34? But neither of these endeavors actually instruct us gamers about how to
tackle various portions. Well that's about to change.
GT5's AMG Academy is a great way to learn this track, and it awards some decent credits for doing so. One can choose to
go for bronze, silver, or gold. Bronze gives a huge window of time to complete. Nothing wrong with bronze. But once you're at the point
that you're making consistent, low silvers, you are actually ready to race
this track with full confidence. Silver shows that you've learned "the 'Ring", basically.
So we'll be driving this 50 year-old auto for all Beginning sectors. Driving this '54 gullwing Benz (which is somewhat
of a difficult machine at times) only furthers the education we'll be receiving at this track because the driver
is going to need to know how to keep the car going without any bad stuff happening. If you choose to go from silver to gold, good luck! We'll be starting with Sector 1, which is
not as demanding as later sectors. Sector 1 is the easiest in my opinion.
I realize there is an "Example" demo that goes along with each sector, and that anybody can choose to have the Racing Line
option on while they tackle this course. But the demo is not complete enough in my opinion, and the Racing Line is often not
fully truthful, especially when going for gold. Yes, it's great to have this stuff to work with, but I'm going to take all
this many steps further.
There are several of these challenges to complete, not just one or two. The first one has us rolling thru most of the west
side of this huge track..
I did all this first Sector with ABS, TCS, and all those other devices off. In 1954, none of this stuff had even been invented
yet! If you choose to try doing this as well, there shouldn't be any problems until you need to brake. Note: very minimal braking,
and even some feathering of those brakes, will be needed if ABS is off. Having ABS on during this first Sector does make
a huge difference, so far as lowering your total Sector time even further.
1). This first challenge has us rolling past the Start/Finish line in 3rd gear. As the clock starts, there's a white wall
or something on our left. Just after passing it, that's when we need to start braking. Downshift into 2nd, and then brake before turning left. Do not brake too late, especially if there's no ABS.
2). There are now a couple bends up ahead. One of them is so gentle, it doesn't require any skill. Upshift into 3rd gear
as the car redlines. The next curve (another right turn) is trickier. There's a temptation to brake heavily here, but
if you want to go for gold, it's actually better to aim for the red & white rumble strip, release
the throttle momentarily, and not brake at all. Leave the gearbox in 3rd. This old car actually has enough cornering
grip to survive here with no brakes.
3). We now enter the Hatzenbach area...a series of curves and esses, basically. Upshift into 4th
4). The first left is (again) a very gentle one. After this, we'll be approaching a left/right S-turn. There's what
looks to be a huge splotch of paint on the track. Start braking
and downshift into 3rd just before passing over it! Heavy braking will be needed
here before entering the curve if ABS is on. If it's off, we can't brake so heavily or those wheels will
instantly lock up. So it's best to feather those brakes instead while trying to keep the car in as straight
a line as possible.
5). There are a few more curves to tackle now, but braking (if there's any at all) should just be a quick tap to
help re-orient the car if you need to. Otherwise, steer-in towards those rumblies, nix the brakes, and use throttle when
appropriate. There's a chance that if you're not braking in these turns that the front-end of the car will take a wider
path. This is okay. Just don't touch the throttle until the car is ready.
**Since this is a rear-drive car with a light trunk area, care must be taken NOT to get too sideways when
exiting corners. This won't be a problem during lower-speed corners like the ones we've tackled so far, but as speed rises
in other challenges, this may change. Throttling too much can cause a bit of oversteer at higher speeds, and then possibly
a spin can result if the driver isn't careful.
6). The next area is called Hocheichen. It's basically a short straight followed by another right/left S-turn. Upshift into
4th briefly during the straight. Firm braking will be needed here. Downshift into 3rd. It
is not necessary to downshift into 2nd here, but if you want to do so, it's okay. There's a long stretch of box-like
graffiti on the track rolling on our right side just before this S-turn. Just before we finish passing over
it is when we need to brake.
**If you're confused at how to tackle this turn, look at the track. See how there's a darker and a lighter area of
the tarmac? as the S-turn bends from right to left? The path you should be taking is the darker one.
7). Try to leave that S-turn in 3rd if you can. 2nd gear is okay when slowing down, but leaving it in 2nd will only cause
an extra moment of time as we throttle out and need to upshift. It's better to get this done early. Or simply leave the gearbox
in 3rd the entire time. That works, too.
8). Now we're rolling down a hill. Upshift into 4th. The Benz passes over a bridge while the track gently curves to the right.
It doesn't matter where we are on the track at this point (left, right, or center), just don't hit any walls.
9). The next section as we roll up hill now is called Quiddelbacher Hohe. As we pass thru here, it's best to be somewhat towards
the left of the track. There isn't much room to maneuver, so this next area is tough.
10). The Benz now crests over the hill. Up ahead, the track curves more sharply right. This area takes practice. You're
going to need to go from the left side of the track to the right, and back out again... it's a huge, fast-paced out-in-out. Although
your instinct may be to brake (and braking is okay here normally) it's best to NOT brake if you want to go
for the gold. Again, this car's tires can handle the high-speed pressure.
11). There's a small service road on the left side of the track, which will appear to us as a bit of red as we pass it by
at high-speed. Release the throttle (no brakes!) just as you pass it, and steer towards the rumble strip on
the inside of the turn. It's okay if you roll your tires over this strip. The car should still be in 4th gear, your speed
just over 100 mph for best results.
12). We're now in the Flugplatz (air place, I believe). There's not much to do here but simply gather
speed. There are three gentle left bends to follow.
13). The track starts climbing again. Schwedenkreuz is the next area, and it's a tricky one. Start braking
just before entering the left turn. There are several small white signs on the left and right side of the track;
as we pass them, that's the best place to brake. Not much braking is needed, ABS or no ABS. Downshifting is not
needed...instead, it's best to simply maintain as much speed as possible without getting squirrely and losing it in the
grass. Speed should (again) be just over 100 mph.
14). The Aremberg is the last area. There's a small sign on the left of the track again. As we pass it, that's the best area
to brake. Braking needs to be firm again, and it's best to get it in as straight a line as possible.
15). Downshift into 3rd and 2nd. Turn in to this last tighty righty. Blast towards the finish.
My Time: 2:20.910
This sector conveniently takes off from where
Sector 1 left off. Let's get started.
During Sector 1, I eschewed ABS, TCS, and all the other gadgets. Well, I tried
this method again during Sector 2, but after many retakes, I decided I HAD to put ABS on "1" at least. The lowest I could
manage Sector 2 without ABS was 2:23.551. Sector 2 demands lots of late braking, and lots
of trail-braking (turning while braking) in some areas. With ABS off, I couldn't brake nearly as late as I needed
to in lots of areas. Anyways, here we go....
1). Rolling down a hill now in 3rd gear. Upshift into
4th. As we pass into Fuchstrohre territory (yikes, that sounds like a bad word, doesn't it?), the track bends
gently left and right several times.
2). There's finally an area where the downhill stops and the uphill begins. Beware!
Try to be on the middle-right of the track (50% to 75% over to the right) as the hill
climbs, not all the way over to the right.
**Usually, most cornering is done in an out-in-out fashion, with the driver
taking up as much track as possible in many cases. Since the 'Ring is so narrow, this may not be such a good idea all
the time. Our racing line is therefore going to be more like a middle-ish-in-middle,
instead of out-in-out. The reason is some turns demand us to drive in as straight a line as possible, with only minimal
bending of our line.
3). Notice there's a small white sign on the right side of the track as the
hill climbs. It's best to brake somewhat before you pass this sign if you want to go
for gold. Try to maintain as much speed as possible. Braking too late here will only end in disaster. You'll see.
demo never gets below 100 mph as it corners inwards. During my gold run, I could only manage about 95
at slowest. This goes to show that there is a bit of leeway here in Sector 2, and that following the demo to a tee could actually
cause some unneeded stress.
4). Brake firmly as you pass
the sign. Try to do this in as much of a straight line as possible initially, before turning slightly inwards
to the left. Chances are you will still be braking as you turn-in, so it's tricky. Downshift into 3rd. Be careful, though.
As the Benz crests the hill, it can catch air here and go off-track momentarily (especially if you've turned inwards too late).
It's okay to roll over the rumble strip on the left side of the track here...just try to stay off the grass.
Just after that lefty, the track now bends quickly to the right. As you approach the upcoming right turn, brake slightly, and keep it in 3rd gear. Modulate throttle as you attack this area. This
is the Adenauer-Forst. Again, it's best to look at where the track's surface is darkest if you
need to know where to be.
6). The hill keeps climbing. Now there's a sharp left turn up ahead! Oddly, I find
it best to be in the middle of the track (rather than on its right) before attacking
this next corner. Just after we pass over what looks to be a huge painted bar code on the track, brake firmly, and downshift to 2nd.
7). Give a bit of throttle
while steering out of here. There's now a sharp right turn ahead. When exiting this area, throttle-control is key,
especially if TCS if off. Too much throttle while the car is still turning can cause the rear to jackknife, especially
if its inside tires get caught up on that high rumble strip and then flump off. Assuming this happens, make
sure you're not giving full throttle or the car's rear will burn-out a little and the Benz will lose overall speed.
track straightens out (sort of) and we pass over a few slight bends. Upshift into 3rd and 4th.
Metzgesfeld is the next area. The track bends more sharply left. I've done this sharper curve with and
without brakes. It's desirable not to brake here, so that speed is maintained. If you do brake
all that's needed is a tap. I usually braked just after the HUD informed me I'm in Metzgesfeld.
Speed should be hovering just over 100 mph during this area, and we can do this turn out-in-out, or close to it.
The track straightens out for a short bit, but there's an immediate lefty up ahead. Now it's time to brake firmly. There is a small bit of graffiti written on the track, I have no
idea what it says, but this is where we should brake. Downshift into 3rd just after braking, and steer in. This entire area
should be done as smoothly as possible, with no grass clips, for best results. The Benz will be going about 55
mph at the slowest.
11). Throttle out of Metzgesfeld. We roll briefly downhill into
Kallenhard. There are two white signs on the left of the track. Just after we
pass the 2nd one, brake before the sharp right that's coming up. Brake in a relatively straight
line, steer-in while coasting, and downshift into 2nd. It's best to start braking just after that second white sign,
but before the rumble strip on the right side of the track starts.
11). As you throttle out, upshift into 3rd and eventually
4th. The track bends left and then right, and then right again. You might need to tap the brakes
before that first left. But maybe not. It's best not to use brakes at all, while modulating throttle (but attempting
to keep it flat-out), because this helps maintain speed so we can make our gold.
12). There are now a
series of rumble strips in the inside (right) of the track. Just after passing the first one, brake
momentarily and downshift into 3rd. This is a high-speed curve..very dangerous, yet it's okay to slide a tad as
you enter this area.
**You want to stay on the middle-inside here. Do not go out-in-out, because the car's
going to want to understeer here, and grass can make this difficult. It's a trail-brake here (braking while turning) so it's
tricky, of course, but all we need is a tap of brakes to bring speed down to about 81 mph or so.
13). Keep steering
tight. There are a total of three rumble strips on the inside of the track before the track straightens out. Upshift into
4th when appropriate.
***During my gold run, I made a huge boo-boo and ran into the grass once the track straightened.
Somehow, I still made gold! Again, this goes to show there's a bit of leeway with the Sector 2 challenge.
Weirseifen is next. This a blind curve which morphs into a hairpin. Fun. Just after it says "Weirseifen"
on the HUD is where we should start braking. Brake heavily,
downshift into 3rd while steering inwards. Roll over the rumbly on the inside if you have to.
15). Give a short
burst of gas before braking again. Downshift into 2nd.
**It's important to not get
too wild here. Don't roll wildly over the rumbly on the inside of this hairpin; it's best to keep all tires
on tarmac so that maximum traction is created.
Leave the hairpin in 2nd...hopefully without doing
a grand burnout!
16). We're rolling downhill again. Upshift into 3rd and 4th. Einfart-Breidscheid
is up next. This area does not last very long, in fact I think this is the shortest phase of Nurburgring.
over on the right side of the track. There is a somewhat sharp left coming up, and we're finally going
to do an out-in-out. There is what looks to be a small service road on the right. It's best
to brake as we pass this road. Downshift into 3rd while steering heavily. This is a dual-left
turn, so don't stop steering until the track starts to straighten.
**It's best not to give too much
gas too early, here. The Benz can possibly jump the rumbly on the right side of the track, and wind up on the safety pad,
crushing its fender on the guardrail. All of this costs time. A slight bump over the rumbly is okay, though.
Exmuhle starts now. Do not use brakes here, even though this seems like the
logical thing to do. Instead, note the black & red sign on the left side of the track. As you pass this sign, momentarily
release the throttle, steer-in heavily, and start giving gas in 3rd gear as you bounce your way past the inside rumble strip.
Do not downshift to 2nd. The Benz will be going anywhere from 62-66 mph at this point; the more speed the better.
The track starts climbing uphill and straightens out finally for a few blessed seconds (phew). It's okay
to let the engine redline heavily into 3rd as it climbs the hill before shifting into 4th.
Rolling up this area, notice there will be a small white sign on the right side of the track. This sign is
Nurburgrging's 10 km mark. As you pass it, note your time. If you've made a low 1:57.xxx, things
are looking good for gold. If you've got a high 1:57 ...meh... gold is still possible, but
not likely. Any higher than 1:58, and you'd best begin the entire run again, unless you simply want to practice that last
corner. 1:59 or a few seconds higher is a solid silver at best.
There will be a gentle left curve coming up. Try and do an out-in-in as you pass over it.
It's important to stay on the left side of the track after passing the rumble strip that lies here.
There is a small black and red sign that comes up fast on our right. Try to start
braking just as you pass it. This is Bergwerk, our final tricky area.
Downshift into 3rd while steering slightly to the right, braking all the while. Do not shift into 2nd. As you
near the inside of this final turn, steer inwards more heavily, and release the brakes. Speed will be about 61
mph at the slowest. Make your way past the tight right corner here while accelerating out in 3rd.
Clambering the inner tires on the inside rumbly is okay, and as you pass this area, start giving throttle cautiously.
Too much gas too early, and you'll be mowing grass on the track's far side as you exit. GT4 had a license test specifically
devoted to this single turn, which makes sense because it's a toughie.
18). The finish line is up ahead as we
climb this final hill. Keep it in 3rd gear and say a prayer you're below 2:21.000! Phew.
My time: 2:06.344
I'll be honest, it took me maybe 3
hours to gold Sector 2, maybe a half hour to gold Sector 1. If you're on a rampage to get them all golded, it might be a better
idea to simply stop for awhile. Stop and do something else. Clear you head. Unless you're one of those demons who somehow
can gold Sector after Sector. Yea, right, I'll believe it when I see it!
1). The AMG Driving Academy
Sector 3 challenge starts us rolling up a long, gentle hill. The track winds a bit but there's nothing too drastic for now.
Upshift into 4th eventually. It's okay to let the car redline heavily into 3rd before upshifting.
I've noticed a slight bit of acceleration is gathered.
2). We enter Kesselchen. Nothing to report
here...we're still gathering speed slowly as we roll uphill in 4th gear.
is next. The track bends gently to the right, and it's best to stay inwards (to the right) here. It bends gently left then.
Keep it in 4th and do not slow yet. Go out-in-out when you attack that left so that you wind up on the right
side of the track.
4). Up ahead, the track bends more sharply to the left. There is a narrow, white concrete
pad on our right side. Just after passing this pad, steer-in hard to the left. No brakes are needed here...instead
it's best to momentarily release the throttle while steering inwards heavily...rolling over the rumbly
on the inside if you have to. This is sort of an out-in-out. Kinda sorta. Speed should be just
over 100 mph.
* As you blast out of this area, notice it's possible to oversteer slightly
once throttle is applied fully, and the car's overall racing line becomes somewhat tighter. This is called "steering from
5). The track straightens and then bends to the right eventually. We can take this area flat
out (full-throttle). Brakes are not needed. This is another out-in-out to some degree, although the actual
racing line can vary a tad.
6). The track straightens out briefly. This is Stellstrecke. Coming
up on the left there's a rumbly strip. Start braking heavily just after you start passing it.
This is difficult to describe, but there's a point where the rumbly is sticking onto the track the most. You should
start braking just as you pass this point. Downshift from 4th to 2nd and start steering inwards heavily, but not
so heavily that you're riding the rumble strip on the inside. Try to stay on tarmac.
7). The track now starts
climbing steeply towards Caracciola-Karussel. The odd banked area this portion features was originally
made to drain water off the upper part of the track, but eventually drivers would simply drive on this bank instead of the
track! As we approach here, we want to aim towards the center of the track.
8). There is a shadow just before the Karussel, caused by a tree. Brake
just as you pass over this shadow, while downshifting into 2nd gear, and keep braking while turning
onto the bank. As the car scampers for grip, you can stop braking when the gullwing feels like it can handle this. Let the
car coast momentarily. Try not to give too much throttle too early, or the car will travel off the bank,
where the track is flatter and we can't take advantage of those awesome G-forces. ;) Towards the middle of the bank,
it will be safer to give full throttle, though sometimes you may still need to feather it.
Note: It's okay if the two outer tires are initially on the bank, while the two
inner tires are rolling on the inner arc. It is also okay (towards the end) to finally scramble off the bank altogether,
if that's what the car is wanting to do.
9). After the banked area, we're climbing a hill that gently meanders.
Upshift into 3rd and then leave it in 3rd. There is no need to upshift into 4th. Keeping it in 3rd saves
just that wee bit of time that would otherwise be spent on an upshift! The car will redline heavily, but it will not
make its RPM limit. There is a somewhat blind left curve here, and it's safe to pass it out-in-out while
going flat out.
10). Now there's a second left curve...this one's sharper. Start braking a
moment after you pass over what looks to be a small splotch of white graffiti on the left of the road.
Brake, steer in, but prepare to then go immediately right, doling out mostly full throttle. Try
to follow the tarmac; do not let the car run off-track.
11). Now we're in Hohe Acht, which
has the highest altitude of the entire track. About 70% of Sector 3 is now done! But the toughest parts are now
coming up. When going for gold, it's important to keep as much speed as possible when
attacking this final 30%.
Note: when I finally golded this challenge, I noticed during the replay I was driving
mildy sloppy at times during this final section of turns. Going a little too much onto a rumble strip...clipping a little
grass. All of this is okay, as long as overall control is maintained.
12). Get on the left side
of the track. We're tackling this sharp right curve with minimal brakes and a release of throttle, out-in-out
style. It's okay if you get a little sloppy, clambering over rumblies a bit, but try not to get too wild.
Brake just before the car passes over yet another splotch of graffiti;
a bunch of huge white letters it looks like.
13). Hedwigstrohe now, still in 3rd gear,
and starting to go downhill. Full throttle.
is next. Things start to feel a bit rollercoaster-ish. There will be a slight right and then a slight
left curve (an S-turn in other words), try not to use brakes before steering into the
first right curve, instead feathering that throttle. Chances are you'll need just a long dab
of brakes for the lefty though. We're still in 3rd gear. As usual, aim for the inner rumblies, and try to
stay out of grass, or from getting too wild (better said than done, of course).
14). The track straightens
briefly and then immediately makes a sharper right. This is Wippermann. We don't need any brakes before
this right curve, even though it is tighter than the previous two, I've managed to fly through here (sliding slightly
perhaps) with no brakes. Keep it in 3rd gear.
15). The Benz climbs a short
hill before needing to get a tap of brakes, as we pass over more graffiti. There's a tight right
up ahead, and it crests the Wipperman hill. This area is blind, and can cause understeer if you're not careful. Keep
it in 3rd as you tackle...out-in-in. Stay somewhat toward the right as the track starts to go downhill.
Eschbach now. A long, somewhat blind left is up ahead. It's best to be middle-ish before attacking it.
We're still in 3rd gear.
17). Just as you pass a small black & white sign
on your right (careful, it comes up fast), brake firmly while steering carefully inwards.
For best results (gold) keep it in 3rd.
The final turn is up ahead, which puts us in Brunnchen.
It's sharp, but we (finally) don't have to be careful if we don't want to.
18 a). There are two ways you can
tackle this final turn. If you're being ethical, start braking
just as the gullwing passes a huge splotch of white graffiti on the road. Do a typical out-in-out. Downshift
into 2nd and modulate gas. Pass the finish line while traveling ON the track.
18 b). If you're not being ethical,
brake where the graffiti is, turn in, but then it's possible to just ramble wildly into
the grass while keeping the car somewhat pointed towards the finish line. Gold can be struck this way, too, as the AMG
Academy apparently didn't think to fail errant drivers if they purposely go off track!
My Time: 2:29.324
left off at Brünnchen. Sector 4 starts the Benz rolling on a short straight, and the game automatically shifts
the car into 3rd.
1). For this first tighty-righty we'll need to keep the car in 3rd gear. Do
NOT downshift. The Benz will seem as if it's going slower than it should after braking, but trust me...downshifting
will cost time. This first turn will be taken out-in-out. I usually start braking
just after the big splotch of white graffiti on the track, but how far after braking starts can vary a bit. Brake, coast for a moment while steering partially, and then steer inwards carefully with
more force. It's okay to roll over the inside rumbly a bit.
2). The car's speed will fall a little
as it apexes, and you're not hitting the gas yet. Once you do start fuel back, it's okay to feather it if you need to
3). You should not be going any slower than about 63 mph here. Speed
can vary anywhere from 63 to 67 in this first turn. It's okay if you get a little wide at the end and the car clambers over
the rumble strip late in the corner. Just no sand, please.
4). After leaving this turn, get over
to the right side of the track ASAP. Still in 3rd gear. There will be two bits of white graffiti on the track.
Feather the brakes as (or just before) you pass over the second one. Again, this can
vary. Give a pivot of steering after brakes are applied to get the car moving strongly inwards.
Some lines that are taken here might only require a quick jab on the brakes and you're good. Other lines will require
feathering. This varies. Overall speed should be anywhere from 61 to 64 mph.
Things can get a little sloppy as you clamber over the two rumble strips in this 2nd turn. That's okay. Just keep
that speed up and stay off the grass.
6). We start to wander lazily for a moment as the track seems to refuse
to straighten all the way. We're about to enter Pflanzgarten. Shift into 4th gear.
7). Up ahead
(heh heh) there's what looks like a dead-man's curve. Get over to the left of the track.
8). All a sudden, there's
a huge dip in the road. Roll down this dip at full speed and brake just as the Benz
starts to roll over that HUGE white chalk drawing or whatever it is. Brake, downshift into 3rd,
steer-in when it looks safe, and coast for a couple moments. Steer inwards tightly so that the Benz either
touches the inside rumbly or is at least fully on tarmac somewhere in the middle of the curve. Any wider than this is
asking for trouble.
**Scrambling a bit on the inside rumbly (even getting on the grass a little) is okay. Just
don't get too wide or too far on that grass.
9). After that moment or two of no gas, start
applying full-throttle! Keep that steering tight. The tires under the car will protest, but you'll need to keep
on it. It's okay to release the throttle for a split-second mid-corner if you have to, but speed should
be no lower than 81-82 mph. Low to mid-80s is best, basically.
10). As soon as you leave the dead-man's
curve, get somewhat over to the right so the next high-speed cruve can be attacked out-in-out style.
into 4th as the track wanders. There's a high-speed left that should be taken as far left as possible (rumble strip grazing
is great). We are in the Pflanzgarten area.
12). Now get over middle-ish left before tackling this next corner. There's
a small white sign or something on the outside (left) of the track. Just as you pass it (or slightly
before passing it), start steering in towards the inside at full speed. No brakes. Maybe only a wee moment
of throttle-release if you need it. Speed should be just below 110 mph. 109 to 110 mph.
The track starts to meander a bit, and we get a true sense of this car's airy-feeling ride as it dances over tarmac. Despite
the curvy nature of Planzgarten II, steering input should be mostly light once we're flying through here. Keep full speed.
Up ahead is another blind, dead-man's curve. You should be on the left side of the track well before approaching
15). On the right side of the track, there's all sorts of helpful landmarks. There's what looks to be a red sign,
as well as a small service entrance. Pass all this stuff at full speed.
16). Now there's (guess) more graffiti
up on the road ahead. There's also a small white sign on the right. Things can vary here, but for best results, brake
just before you pass these landmarks. I've also braked later...just as I'm passing the white sign (rather than before I pass
it). Downshift into 3rd and hang a strong right into the curve. Speed should be roughly 87-94
mph. Feather the throttle as needed.
**I've taken this curve with several lines successfully. Things can
vary as you approach and leave it.
17). Now we're in Schwalbenschwanz. Immediately get somewhat
over to the right.
18). There's a small red & blue sign on the left, brake slightly just as you pass it, or just before passing it. Turn as you brake, or slightly afterwards. Keep
it in 3rd gear, and steer-in to this blind curve. Feather the throttle as needed after passing the apex (inside). There's
a huge sandbox just off-track, and it's guaranteed we'll be passing it with inches to spare if we're careless.
If we're scrambling up on the rumble strip here, that's not good. Speed can vary from 67 to 71 mph.
Leave this corner full-throttle. Stay on the right side. Upshift into 4th.
20). Just as the Benz passes the rumble
strip on the inside, aim to the track's center, brake heavily while turning, and downshift
into 3rd gear. Get as far inwards as you can. This is the kleines Karussel area. We have a choice
of driving fully on the banked concrete pad thingy, or getting very low into the turn (grazing the inner rumbly).
Speed should hover in the low-60s, 59 mph at the lowest.
are you may need a tap of throttle before getting on the banked part, but once we're on it, gas should be feathered.
As the car leaves the Karussel area, the track suddenly levels, which can throw us off-balance, causing the Benz to
slide as those rear tires try to regain traction. So be careful and modulate the gas here, and straighten out your steering
to some degree once full throttle is chosen again.
22). Get the Benz to the left to attack this next blind curve. Now
we're in Galgerkoph. Still in 3rd gear.
23). Just before the car finishes passing the rumble
strip on the left, start steering inwards somewhat violently. Brakes are not needed here; if they're used,
it should be a very slight bit on entry to orient the car properly. Otherwise, release the throttle, but then slam it on
fully, with only a slight release mid-corner, perhaps. Lower to mid-80s, maybe 81 mph at the slowest.
this turn in 3rd gear. Get somewhat over to the left. As the next blind curve approaches, take it (again) with no brakes,
and take a moment to coast, before attacking that throttle in a feathering manner, if you need to. Keep momentum
high, as high as possible.
25). This right curve seems to go on forever. The car will probably start
understeering during this long curve, which is okay. Go ahead and let it push....as long as you've got plenty of track
to support. The track finally starts straightening. As it does, you can straighten out the steering slowly (so the front tires
stop scrubbing speed), and upshift into 4th.
26). Ah.....my favorite section...the Dottinger-Hohe.
We can finally relax, shift in our seat, hold the throttle with our opposite thumb, whatever. Just roll down this lonnnnnnnnnnnnnng
straight and take in the scenery.
27). On this straight are bridge-like structures. As you pass under the
first one (which advertises Audi), time should be no higher than 1:33.5xx. As you pass under the
second one (the Bilstein bridge), note your time again. You should be no higher than about 2:02.3xx if you
want your gold. A low 2:02, basically.
...In other words, it should say 2:02
just a moment before passing under the bridge. If you're nearer to 2:03, chances are you won't make gold, although
there's still a few choice areas coming up where this extra time could possibly be shaved.
is the Antoniusbuche area, by the way. I think that's how to spell it. ;-)
28). The curve
under the bridge can be taken lazily, and with full throttle. It's so wide that out-in-out is not necessary. I usually go
out-in-in or out-in-center.
29). Fly thru the countryside. Tiergarten. The track starts to climb
gently while bending slightly. There is a high-speed left-hand curve coming up, which is Hohenrain.
Take this curve at full speed (yes....yikes) and immediately start aiming right.
30). There will be a black sign
on the left. Brake just before passing it.
***You can either brake
and downshift into 3rd, or leave it in 4th here. 3rd is safer, but the engine will hit its RPM limiter (losing speed) momentarily if
you try to use it just after that curve.
31). The car will be off-balance as we try to navigate thru this next difficult
section. The track also gets claustrophobically narrow all the sudden, as we're trying to bring down the speed. As the
gullwing Benz dances, get over to the left somewhat, while alternating between gas, coasting and brakes.
There is a small sign coming up on the left, and a very sharp corner. Brake heavily before
passing the sign, while aiming inwards. This turn comes up fast. You should go from 4th or 3rd down to 2nd, obviously.
over the rumble strips here is almost inevitable after all that speed and braking. This is okay; but don't get totally
33). Two more turns to go! After braking, pivot the car's steering before applying gas. And if you're
not using TCS, the Benz's rear will get all squishy when and if too much throttle is given at once, so feather it.
36). Brake and nose into this left.
There's a small straight section now. As you pass the small blue signs on either side of the track, brake
and steer-in carefully. Try not to tap the guardrail on the inside, but also try not to get too wide and into the grass.
This final turn is (in a way) one of the very toughest, even though it's slow. The reason is we can't see what's on the other
side at all... and when we turn it, we must be very decisive about this. Turn-in forcefully (yet carefully), and hope the
guardrail doesn't get struck.
**Again that pattern should be: brake with partial steering, coast
while steering more forcefully, and then apply some gas carefully if you're not using TCS. We don't to lose gold
over a burst of wheelspin.
35). For that final burst of speed across the Finish, leave the gearbox in 2nd. It'll
redline heavily, but this is okay. An upshift into 3rd here could literally cost that .1xx of a second you'll need for gold.
My time: 8:41.524
This is the final test, thank goodness.
I'm not doing a full write-up because all you have to do is follow all the lessons in Sectors 1 thru 4 and you've got
it. The main problem is there are several Ai vehicles to get around as you struggle with this full lap.
test resembles GT4's dreaded Mission 34, yet is not nearly as difficult. I golded it
on my second try, matter of fact. PD lowered the bar for this final test, for some reason.
The main tip to offer
is just do the whole thing once or twice, even if you feel like you're sucking at it. It takes time to learn where everybody
is on the track. First you'll see a 300SL just like yours. Then, an A-series Benz just after Quiddebacher-Hohe, etc.
When another car shows up on the map, be prepared with a racing line
to hopefully avoid it. Small grass cuts (as unethical as they are) can be employed here and there to avoid these clueless
drivers, all of whom cruise around the track as if they've got a day off and are trying to sightsee.
my gold run, I accidentally clipped one of these drivers slightly on his rear fender, which goes to show that
you don't need perfection to attain gold here.
final tip: you should be getting by the last Benz, which is a black sedan, somewhere after Wipperman, but before Eschbach.
These are the areas which are somewhat near the end of Sector 3. And as you roll down the long straight of Sector 4, you should
be at about 8:20.xxx or less as you pass under the BILSTEIN bridge.
2010 AMG Benz SLS:
This car is
obviously a lot faster than that old gullwing Benz, yet some of the same reference points for braking, turning-in, and throttling
out can still be used in this 550 horsepower monster, since it's rolling on hard racing slick tires. This is truest during
Sections 1 and 4. The two middle sections (from Bergwerk to Brunnchen) sometimes require earlier braking points, since there
is a lot more twisting & turning going on. You'll figure it all out if you are persistent. And... pretty much any area
which required no brakes in the Gullwing will require at least a tap or two in the SLS.
Once you've got a knack for golding (or at least making low silvers)
in the gullwing, golding in the the SLS only requires getting used to its faster pace, and quicker reflexes.
The final test, the one with all the dopey drivers sharing the track with
us, is much harder than it was in the Gullwing. Now, PD has raised that bar again. To gold this
final test will require you really give your best gold-level driving. In comparison, the 300SL
Gullwing test requires only good silver driving, oddly.